Whenever I clamp a wide panel or long board to my workbench on edge for sanding or planing, I need a way to support the other end. So I built this simple bench vise helper, as shown in the photos to the right. It’s easy to make and allows me to support panels up to three feet wide. To make the vise helper, start by ripping two 36?-long uprights to width from ¾?-thick hardwood. Then I glued two narrow spacers between them to create a consistent 5/16?-wide slot, as you can see in detail ‘b.’.
The next thing to do is cut a pair of feet to shape. Then cut a dado in each foot sized to hold the upright and glue the feet in place. The last thing to make is the adjustable rest for the workpiece. I cut the rest and a mounting plate to size first and glued them together. Next, two shoulder pieces are cut and glued to the rest and the mounting plate to keep it parallel to the floor. I used a carriage bolt and star knob to secure the rest to the upright, as you can see in detail ‘a.’.